Review by Bill_Lange
"I am Jack's mockery of a video game"
Released in 1999, Fight Club was a quirky, violent movie (based on the equally good book) that spoke to the primal beast in each of us. Deep inside, don't you just want to cut loose and beat on another human being every once in awhile? Beyond that, the film also had a deeper, more meaningful subtext: self-improvement is self-destruction; spending money, working out, augmenting one's image, all these things lead to one's inevitable self-imposed ruin, and the death of individuality.
For some unimaginable reason, someone seemed to think that a video game would go perfectly with this theme. Released at the end of 2004, Fight Club the game was a deserved failure. My job is to explain why.
This game's biggest, most glaring flaw is that it has absolutely no reason to exist. The film's theme was anti-consumerism; your handsome furniture, nice car, flashy clothes, none of these things define you as an individual and a human being. The characters joined Fight Club to recapture the individuality that they had lost, and in the process let go of it once again. So, naturally, this just begs to be made into a game, a game that's just as shallow as you'd expect: it completely ignores the heavier themes of the film, and instead clumsily focuses on the (admittedly awesome) Fight Club scenes.
As you'd expect, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton laughed in the faces of those who suggested they appear in the game, so Tyler Durden and the Narrator (now named "Jack") look absolutely nothing like them. Of course, if you want to play as Meat Loaf, or that guy who played Angel Face, this is your lucky day. It goes without saying that if you've seriously been awaiting an opportunity to play as Meat Loaf, you have more severe problems than enjoying bad video games. Every character controls exactly the same, and has the exact same moves. That's exactly what a fun, diverse game is all about: the depressing, crushing reality that comes with horrendous graphics and awful play mechanics.
The Story Mode is absolutely laughable. You create a character from three completely identical templates, upon which you have extremely limited options to customize. This boring cookie-cutter imbecile then battles through the various Fight Clubs, searching for Tyler Durden. After six or seven matches, the game is over. I'm not kidding; the entire Story Mode takes about a half-hour to complete, after which you unlock the most infuriating bonus character ever conceived. One of the most hated men on the planet Earth, the lead singer of Limp Bizkit, Fred "Wearing a Red Hat Backwards Makes Me Cool" Durst, is actually a secret fighter. Sure, you can also reveal an bare-chested, tough-as-nails Abe Lincoln, but the fact that Fred Durst is in this game just makes me hate it more, if that's even possible.
Perhaps if Fight Club was a sophisticated, layered fighting game, I'd have fewer complaints. Not so. Matches are good for nothing but comic relief; at our game store, my co-workers and I tried out Fight Club just to see how bad it truly was, and we were not disappointed. To fight, simply mash every button on the pad as quickly as you can, making sure to randomly change the order every once in awhile. After you opponent's health reaches red, you can perform a crippling, bone-breaking grab, which is decent enough; you're treated to an x-ray view of a bone shattering, after which the injured fighter cannot use that limb. Unfortunately, this move is available too late in a match to actually alter the outcome significantly.
Along with the sheer comedic value of Story and Versus modes, there's also an option to take the asinine fight onto Xbox Live. I dare you to find somebody else playing this game online. If you can (which won't be easy, I assure you), do the rest of us a favor and discuss taking a hammer to each of your consoles. They're better off destroyed than subjected to shallow, opportunistic garbage like this.
Surprisingly, the music holds up pretty well, considering. Several tracks from the film were licensed, along with songs from Korn and *shudder* Limp Bizkit. When compared to the rest of this travesty, it's hard NOT to get something right.
Words cannot express my outrage that this clearly unfinished pile of excrement was allowed to see the light of day. This is the kind of idiotic, lazy rubbish that makes all licensed games look bad. If you still seriously want this game, consider offering the money to the game store clerk in exchange for punching you in the face as hard as he can instead. After learning that you're interested in purchasing Fight Club, he'll be happy to oblige. I know I was.
Reviewer's Rating: 0.5 - Unplayable
Originally Posted: 08/22/05
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